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Tom Colletti during Ohio's game against The Ohio State University on Tuesday (BLAKE NISSEN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Baseball: Despite trio of home runs, Bobcats can't contain Marshall in loss

Despite hitting three home runs, Ohio blew an early 4-0 lead and fell to Marshall 12-9 on Wednesday afternoon at Kennedy Center Field in Huntington, West Virginia.

The Bobcats' pitching staff, which has been the core of Ohio's (16-16) success this season, let up seven unanswered runs following the Bobcats' three home runs in the first three innings of the game.

Marshall responded in the bottom of the third inning and scored four quick runs, three of which occurred on a rare two-out bases-loaded throwing error by third baseman Connor Callery that allowed all three runners to score and tie the game.

Marshall would go on to score two runs in the fourth and fifth innings and another five in the sixth to cement its lead.

The loss wasn't as big as it could've been for Ohio, however, as the Bobcats scored four runs in the eighth inning to cut into Marshall's original 12-5 lead. It wasn't enough to complete their comeback in the final inning.

Wednesday's game was a stark contrast to Ohio's usual strengths in pitching and defense. Prior to the game, the Bobcats' pitching staff held a 3.57 ERA, and the defense was ranked fifth in the nation with a .984 fielding percentage.

Their two strengths were ultimately the greatest factors in the loss, as the Bobcats' defense gave up two errors, both leading to eventual Marshall runs, while the pitching staff allowed more than seven runs for just the sixth time this season.

Wednesday's game marked the first time Ohio has played in back-to-back midweek games all season, as Ohio prevailed against Youngstown State on Tuesday night, managing to come back after blowing a 5-0 lead.

The pair of weekday games forced coach Rob Smith to throw a combined 11 different pitchers, as Smith usually likes to use a new pitcher for every few innings in non-weekend games. That plan usually works, as Ohio has allowed more than five runs just three times in the seven prior weekday games played.

On Wednesday, however, three of the six pitchers Smith used were unable to keep Marshall off the scoreboard.

Ohio will get another shot at Marshall next week, as the two teams play again April 19 at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio.

Until then, the Bobcats will look to bounce back from the loss in a return to Mid-American Conference action this weekend when they travel to play a three-game series against Eastern Michigan (12-20, 4-2 MAC) in Ypsilanti, Michigan.


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